Oliver chief Chris Woodward joins CTI Group as CEO

Chris2-1024x576Oliver Agency UK group chief operating officer Chris Woodward has joined digital agency CTI Group as chief executive, taking over from founder Nick Rhind who is moving across to drive M&A activity.

The move follows a £25m investment from private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital (LDC).

Having completed five acquisitions in the past three years, CTI has seen revenues rising to £18m in the last 12 months. Companies operating under the CTI Group umbrella now include CTI Digital, Supercharged Commerce, Stardotstar, Nublue, Ixis, Worship and Mosquito. It employs 175 people across its offices in Manchester and Lancaster.

Woodward had been at Oliver Group for nearly three years, joining as UK group managing director; prior to that he was MD of Dare, the digital arm within the Oliver network.

Having started his career at Wunderman in Woodward went on to work at many of the industry’s leading agencies, most of which have now disappeared, including WWAV, Kitcatt Nohr, and Partners Andrews Aldridge. He has also held senior roles at Saatchi & Saatchi, Rapier, Seven Seconds, CHI & Partners.

His appointment is part of a strategy to bolster the CTI Group leadership team as the business gears up for growth.

Rhind said: “CTI has grown substantially over the last five years and is now poised to expand further with the backing we have secured from LDC. It is therefore the right time to grow the strength and depth of our leadership team and I am delighted that Chris is joining us. His track record at Oliver speaks for itself and his softer skills as a leader are also second to none.

“Having Chris as part of the team will allow me to concentrate on our M&A activity that has become a significant focus for us as we grow capability to address broader client needs. Our goal is to consolidate our position as one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing end-to-end digital agencies.”

Woodward added: “I have loved my four years at Oliver. To have played a key role in an agency that consistently sees double percentage point year-on-year organic growth is an incredible roller coaster ride. But now felt like the right time to take that experience and apply it in a different setting.

“CTI is becoming a hive of creativity, expertly placed to support brands across the full breadth of their digital growth. We engineer rock-solid digital foundations, create effective campaign content and significantly optimise conversion at the other end.

“Too often agencies can only partially help brands in this space and the fact that we have strength in all areas under one roof is highly compelling, and can provide significant commercial advantage to our clients.”

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